The danger of smoothing out the message

I was filling out the comprehensive author questionnaire from the publicity department at Pocket the other day and caught myself thinking about how I was going to answer some of the more personal questions. Thinking, of course, is a good thing, but this bordered on censorship, driven by the most horrid of reasons – don’t offend anyone lest you lose sales. This is a line I walk everyday as an editor and rarely think twice about it. My goal is to publish good books that sell. I do my very best to keep it in that order, too, believing that a good book will find its audience. And it’s well known that good, controversial books sell really well.

Now that it’s my turn, I realized I was listening a little closer to my opinions, and starting to wonder if any of them could cause me problems. Problems? As in folks would hear what I believe, and by the simple process of all of us being different, I was bound to offend or disagree with a sizable segment. It really surprised me. I have no desire to be that guy…that politician looking for the safe, middle ground where you offend the least. Those that already know me are probably smiling at this because the chances of me not offending someone, or at least riling them up, is a bit like the sun not rising tomorrow – possible, but unlikely. Like most human beings, I have opinions, strong opinions – most of them informed, some not – so I suppose if I change it all, it will be to become more informed so that I can have even more opinions 🙂

    • admin

      Absolutely. I do retain the right to remain silent, I have just never chosen to exercise that right 🙂 The questionnaire is designed with the goal of trying to glean every possible affiliation, predilection, and eye color you as the author might have that will help them identify and target ways and places to sell the book. They do also stipulate to note where you would like information kept private.


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